Contact: Chris Hollenback, 608-262-3902
Tobacco Quit Line Celebrates 250,000 Calls
Data Show Program Reaches Every County
MADISON—The Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line has handled 250,000 calls, a milestone for the free service that started in May 2001 to help Wisconsinites quit smoking or chewing tobacco. In 2014, the Quit Line processed more than 10,400 calls. For county-by-county call volume data, visit www.WiQuitLine.org.
“We know 80% of smokers were hooked as kids,” said Dr. Michael Fiore, director of the University of Wisconsin Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention (UW-CTRI). “Many of them now want to quit. A quarter of a million times, someone has called the Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line for help to either quit smoking, or to help someone else quit, and we have been there for them.”
Smokers can call 800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669) for free coaching 24/7. The Quit Line also offers free medications and an online forum where callers can support each other.
Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in Wisconsin and the US, killing more than 7,000 Wisconsinites every year and more than 480,000 nationwide. That’s more than the combined deaths from AIDS, suicide, homicide, drugs, alcohol and motor vehicle accidents. More than 14 million Americans live with diseases (such as emphysema) caused by smoking, according to the Journal of American Medical Association. Despite this, 17% of Americans smoke, or more than 46 million, including 800,000 Wisconsinites. The Quit Line is managed by UW-CTRI and funded by the Wisconsin Department of Health and the CDC. For more information, visit www.WiQuitLine.org.